Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Ay, Portugal - Music from the Renaissance to the New World - 16th and 17th Century Music from Portugal and Spain
Gaspar FERNANDES (c.1570-1629)
Eso rigor e reprente
Tieycantimo choquiliya [3.46]
Xicochi conetzintle [3.17]
Botay fora [4.47]
Manuel MACHADO (c.1590-1646)
Afuera, afuera que sale
; [2.24]
Dos estrellas la siguen [3.33]
Pedro de CRISTO (c.1540-1618)
Ay mi Dios [2.03]
Francesco GUERRERO (1526-1599)
Los Reyes siguen la’strella
Qué buen ano es ei del çielo [1.54]
Niño dios d’amor herido [2.22]
Luis de MILAN (c.1500-1561)
Fantasia VIII
Pedro de ESCOBAR (c.1485-1535)
Pásame per Dios, barquero
From the Canciones Masson 56 (1523): Nos meprugunteis a mis males [3.17]
Y nam quero ser pastora [3.55]
Vos señora, a maltratarme [1.48]
Näo tragais borzeguis pretos [3.06]
Dipues vienes delhaldea [2.21]
Siobhan Stagg (soprano)
La Compañia/Danny Lucin
rec. St. Fidelis, Moreland, Melbourne, Australia, November-December 2011
ABC CLASSICS 476 4955 [50.20]

Experience Classicsonline

In the 16th century Portugal was one of the leading nations of the world as far as exploration was concerned and indeed in the Sciences as well as the Arts. As Michael McNab’s well set-out and clear booklet notes tell us, in August 1578 King Sebastiao I was killed in battle along with most of the nobility. As a consequence Portugal was annexed into the Iberian Kingdom of Spain under Philip II. Many of country’s indigenous artists vanished into the South American kingdoms. Others became part of a conservative backwater, continuing to compose in the ‘stile antico’, as did Pedro de Cristo as heard on Hyperion CDA66512 Masterpieces of Portuguese Polyphony.
This CD does not consist of sad music reflecting on past glories. Hispanic syncopated rhythms, flexible and dance-like and especially associated with South American church music, can be heard on this CD. They are helped on their way with a liberal presence of colourful percussion. Other groups have successfully tackled this repertoire as well. I especially like another Hyperion disc recorded by Ex Cathedra, Fire Burning in Snow (CDA67600) but there are any number of other possibilities.
Of the seventeen tracks providing the somewhat measly playing time offered, only eight are for the gorgeous voice of Siobhan Stagg - very pure, versatile and rich. Despite her Irish name she, like this excellent group - La Compañia - are Australian and are making a name for themselves in that country in the early music world. Despite that however several pieces which could have had sung text of the type found in Machado’s beautiful Dos estrella le siguen have the substitute of Danny Lucin’s cornetto playing. This is the next best thing to the human voice as it was often said at the time, especially when the instrument is played so musically and with such beautifully shaped phrasing. Even better is when both Lucin (who directs the ensemble) and Stagg mix as in Escobar’s Pásame per Dios. He breaks up the six verses with a solo passage and then for the second half plays a descant over the voice. A down-side to Stagg’s performance is that although I am no real expert her Portuguese does not seem to be especially clear and her Spanish, which I know much more of, is distinctly inconsistent. That said, I loved her voice and have twice gone to sleep with her and it, as it were, ringing in my ears on a stereo unit in the room.
Let me select a few other favourite highlights. There is some lovely solo wind section playing throughout. I especially enjoyed Guerrero’s Niño Dios d’amor herido. It’s often the anonymous songs that felt so pleasing largely because they are simple and affecting. Their folk-like melodies have an instant attraction. In this category I would place Yan am quero ser pastora which speaks of Titian-style lovers placed in a lovely idealised pastoral locale. This song is in fact a villancico, a very popular form that can be used for sacred or secular compositions. The form is “generally ABA with several stanzas” (McNab) “but which display a good deal of flexibility ... in how often the refrain is used”. A good example is another lovely anonymous pastoral setting Dispues vienes delhaldea.
There is five-part villancico by the still all-too-little-known, but rather original, Gaspar Fernandes entitled Tieycantimo chocquiliya which uses a creole text. Note the snazzy Lombardic rhythms reminding us that some of this music was heard outside church for dancing and dramatic entertainments and at festivals like Christmas. This piece is played instrumentally as is Fernandes’ Xicochi conetzintie which is the Nauhati language of the south American Nahua peoples. Pity we don’t get to hear this unusual language in performance. As in the previous piece, percussion is strongly used as are instruments like the cavaquinho. The group also add the related vihuela and/or a guitar. Wind instruments are employed as they were at the time even in church. These include the sackbut and dulcian which is a sort of bassoon which was especially popular.
The booklet and the disc are within a compact cardboard casing with that excellent essay. Composer biographies and photos are present and correct as well as texts that are well translated into English alongside the original. The recording is clear and intimate and well balanced. Good fun throughout.
Gary Higginson 

CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
















































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.